Director's Note, October 8th: State Test Scores Released, Makerspace, Empathy Building, and more!


State Test Scores Released
Our state test scores have been officially released to the public and are available now on the CAASPP website (https://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/sb2017/search). As most in our community know, we pride ourselves on authentic learning and assessments that are open-ended, but we find the data from the state tests useful for analysis and discussions about student learning.

Students in grades 3-8 take the Smarter Balanced Assessment in English Language Arts and in Math in the spring every year. Even though we don’t “teach to the test”, Bridges students outperformed all neighboring districts in BOTH Math and English last year.  On the website linked above, you can break apart the data by subgroup to analyze how certain demographics of students performed and how certain grade levels did.

When looking at the aggregate data, Bridges students outperformed all neighboring districts. For example, 60.85% of our student population met or exceeded grade level expectations in Math compared with 57.13% of CVUSD students, 48.67% of Moorpark Unified students, and 43.22% of Simi Valley Unified students.

For English Language Arts, Bridges students performed even better! 73.73% of Bridges students met or exceeded grade level expectations in ELA compared with 63.28% of students in CVUSD, 62.12% of students in Moorpark Unified, and 54.78% of students in Simi Valley.

Our teachers use the information from the state tests to identify gaps and to better support subgroups of students. For example, last year when we noticed some deficits in certain grade levels and across different subgroups for math, we were able to put a plan into place to target our interventions to meet those deficits. Further, the state tests provide an indicator of how well our students are performing academically in comparison to neighboring schools and districts.

We are very proud of all of our students and teachers for their commitment to learning!

Coffee Chat Recap
Every month Ms. Cindy and Dr. Kelly meet with parents to discuss relevant topics, gather parent feedback, and listen to concerns. At our October Coffee chat, we discussed our state test scores and addressed questions related to Math curriculum alignment across grade levels. When you join us for these conversations, you have the opportunity to learn more about what is happening at Bridges and to provide feedback and ask questions in an informal and constructive setting. We hope that more parents can join us for our Coffee Chat in November!

Board of Directors Meeting, Monday, October 15th
Another way to learn more about the inner workings of Bridges is to attend our public Board meetings. Our next Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 15th at 6:15pm. At this meeting we will be discussing field trip policies, enrollment and attendance, our upcoming WASC visit, and a newly revised Volunteer and Visitation policy among many other topics. Public comments are always welcomed at the beginning of our board meetings.

Pick up and Drop off Reminders
The flow of traffic has been much smoother so far this year in and out of our parking lot. Thank you to parents and caregivers for being attentive and courteous to the traffic patterns and safety.

Here are some important reminders about pick up and drop off procedurs:
  • Please remember to be respectful of our neighbors by not parking in front of their mailboxes and driveways.
  • Do not turn left into and out of our parking lot during peak traffic times (8:00-8:20am and 2:30-3pm).
  • Please be mindful about pulling all the way forward during pick up and drop off.
  • If you know that your child will take a long time to unload, consider finding parking in the neighborhood, or wait until your car is all the way to the front of the line to help them unload.
  • If you need to walk across our parking lot during peak traffic times, please use the crosswalk. It is safer and it allows for less interruption of the traffic flow.
  • Please make sure your children are exiting and entering your car by the curb.
  • Do not drive around cars that are unloading, please wait for the line to move forward. If you have already dropped off or picked up your child, however, you may exit the line slowly.

Chuck-E-Cheese Fundraiser
Did you notice that we are having a Chuck-E-Cheese fundraiser after school on October 18th? Join other Bridges families, teachers, and staff after school for some food and games and to raise money for our school! More information from our PAC is to come.

Makerspace Began Today
Makerspace started today, and our students were leaving with excitement! On certain days of the week, students in select grades have the opportunity to visit our Makerspace to engage in exciting activities during their recess. We will continue Makerspace for the whole school year, and Ms. Rebekah has plans to integrate even more Engineering and Robotics challenges into the Makerspace this year.

Empathy Building with Toolbox
Many of our classes have been working on the Empathy tool with our schoolwide Toolbox curriculum. Empathy is often a difficult skill to build, but the Toolbox curriculum makes it meaningful and relevant. This video shared on the WSJ shows Toolbox's Empathy building in action and discusses the role that social emotional learning (SEL) can play in preventing school violence: https://www.wsj.com/video/could-teaching-empathy-prevent-the-next-mass-shooting/8C4A42CB-1A0C-423F-BA33-C1AE858E2A91.html

Don’t Forget to Contribute to the Silent Auction
Please keep an eye out for messages from your room parents for donations for our silent auction! Every donation of time, money, and things matters for our school and students. Thank you for taking the time to participate!

We hope you have a fantastic week!

Dr. Kelly and Ms. Cindy




Other Important Dates for your Fall Calendars:
Mon. 10/08- Fri. 10/12:          Middle School Early Release for Conferences
Mon. 10/08 & Tues. 10/09:   Makerspace in library for select grades
Thurs. 10/11 & Fri. 10/12:       After school auditions for Alladin Jr. (grades 3-8)
Mon. 10/15:                             Makerspace in library for select grades
Mon. 10/15:                             October Board Meeting at 6:15pm
Fri. 10/19 and Fri. 10/26:       Pumpkin Patch open for fall shopping after school
Fri. 10/19:                                Chuck E Cheese Fundraiser 3pm-9pm
Mon. 10/22:                            Mid-Cycle Site Visit with the WASC Committee
Mon. 10/22:                            Makerspace in library for select grades
Thurs. 10/25:                          Visit with Author Brandon Mull for students in grades 3-7
Mon. 10/29:                            Monday Mindfulness begins for students in MPR
Sat. 11/03:                               Silent Auction

The following photos are from Ms. Erin's class today. Our resident Naturalists, John and Ellen, led a hands-on adventure with our 4th and 5th grade students wherein students investigated what it would take to be survivors in the Conejo Valley! 
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